The stadium was originally opened on October 29, 1932 as "Faulkner Field", with a wooden grandstand which held 4,000 spectators at the time. It was named for local businessman L.E. Faulkner, who financed the materials and equipment for the stadium, which was built for free by local jobless workers during the Great Depression. In 1938, permanent concrete stands which also housed dormitory space for student-athletes were built on the east side of the field, with the help of Southern Miss football players hauling the concrete. It was from this that the stadium received the nickname "The Rock" (in reference to prison work crews-none of which were used to build the stadium).
The stadium was expanded again in 1950, when the 7,500-seat West Stadium Dormitory stands were built for $350,000. Later, 2,000 bleacher seats were added, as well as new lights (the stadium had lights as early as 1934) and a new scoreboard. By the end of this expansion, the stadium sat 15,000.
In 1976, the stadium was rebuilt, with two sets of double-decked grandstands on either side for $6.3 million. It was opened on September 25, 1976 with a loss at the hands of in-state rival Ole Miss. The new stadium (but not the field itself) was renamed for M. M. Roberts, an alumnus of then-Mississippi College and member of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. He is credited for helping to build the school up to its current university status, the largest such school in Mississippi south of Jackson.
In 1989, the current press box was added. Other improvements to the stadium include the Southern Miss Athletic Center, a field house and athletics training facility opened in 2002 in the north end zone, new lighting poles, new south stands that are being added, as well as the new Momentum Turf field added in 2004. The new playing field was renamed Carlisle-Faulkner Field in honor of the contributions of Gene Carlisle, an entrepreneur and alumnus who funded much of the project to add an artificial surface to the stadium. Currently, the university is constructing an addition to the stadium which will enclose its south end zone, adding nearly 4000 seats and 33 specialty suites. The expansion will include luxury boxes as well as a new scoreboard in the North Endzone. The expansion will become home to the World Renowned "Pride of Missississppi" Marching Band.